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Maidens, Meal and Money Capitalism and the Domestic Community

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ISBN-10: 0521297087

ISBN-13: 9780521297080

Edition: 1981

Authors: Claude Meillassoux, Felicity Edholm, John Dunn, Jack Goody, Geoffrey Hawthorn

List price: $27.99
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Description:

For over twenty years, Claude Meillassoux has been concerned with the study of the different modes of production which existed in Africa prior to colonisation, and the ways in which they responded to colonisation. In this book Professor Meillassoux draws both on his extensive fieldwork in Africa and on the anthropological literature to provide a detailed theoretical analysis of the self-sustaining agricultural community and its articulation with capitalism through the process of colonisation. Using evidence from the usually separated disciplines of ethnology and economics, he explores the major contradiction created by the persistence within the heart of capitalism of the self-sustaining domestic community as a means of reproduction of labour power, and shows that in fact there is a logical connection between the kinship structures which control reproduction in such communities and the forms of exploitation of workers from groups dominated by imperialism. This book offers the elements both of an advanced theory of the domestic mode of production and of a radical critique of classical and structuralist anthropology. just as Professor Meillassoux's earlier work, L'Anthropologie iconomique des Gouro de Cte d'Ivoire was received as a 'turning point in the history of anthropology', this study, which goes beyond a discussion of concepts in an attempt to further the practical steps taken by Marx and Engels, represents a major contribution to the contemporary progress of historical materialism.
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Book details

List price: $27.99
Copyright year: 1981
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 3/5/1981
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 212
Size: 5.98" wide x 9.02" long x 0.47" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

Historical anthropologist Claude Meillassoux was born in Roubaix, France, and educated in part at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris. In addition to his diploma from the institute, he earned a B.A. from the Faculty of Law and Economics in Paris, an M.A. from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from the University of Paris. Before embarking upon a scholarly career, he worked in a factory, in advertising, and as an interpreter. In 1957, he became an assistant in the Practical School of Higher Studies in Paris, a position he held until 1964. At that point in time, he became a research fellow at the National Center of Scientific Research, also in Paris. Recognized for his firmly radical political convictions, Meillassoux is regarded as one of the most influential historical anthropologists and is noted for his contributions toward understanding the complex institution of slavery within Africa itself. He is best known for his theory of slavery in Africa, as expressed in his 1975 work, "L'Esclavage en Afrique Pre-coloniale" (Slavery in Pre-colonial Africa). Meillassoux's recent research, particularly "The Anthropology of Slavery: The Womb of Iron and Gold" (1991), has had an enormous influence on discerning a theory of slavery in Africa.

Preface to the English translation
Introduction
The Domestic Community
Locating the domestic community
Why incest?
The band and the relations of adhesion
Mating and filiation
Protected women, abducted women
Domestic reproduction
The level of the productive forces
The constitution of the relations of production
The constitution of the relations of reproduction
The alimentary structures of kinship
The reproduction of human energy or the process of production: energy - subsistence - energy
Surplus-labour
The circulation of offspring
The dialectic of equality
The circulation of wives and bridewealth
Bridewealth as wives' claims
Identical exchange
Incipient value
Who are the exploited?
Women
Juniors
Contradictions and contacts: the premises of inequality
The exploitation of the domestic community: imperialism as a mode of reproduction of cheap labour power
The paradoxes of colonial exploitation
Direct and indirect wages
Primitive accumulation
Without hearth or home: the rural exodus
Periodic migration: the eternal return to the native land
The maintenance of labour-reserves
The double labour market and segregation
The profits from immigration
The limits of the over-exploitation of labour
The poverty datum line
The objective criterion for the division of the proletariat
Competition
Conclusion
Notes
References cited
Index